We know that climate change is the most significant environment issue of our time, but the risk of species extinction increases with every degree of warming. Climate change is affecting our ecosystems and threatening the world's biodiversity.
Australia and New Zealand are home to some of the world’s most unique ecosystems and the importance of protecting them cannot be underestimated. In New Zealand, 70% of native species are endemic while this reaches 80% in Australia. This means, most of Australia’s native species are not found anywhere else in the world.
Restoring native ecosystems, reducing invasive species, and protecting old-growth forests are all ways to ensure that the biodiversity found in Australia and New Zealand can thrive now and into the future.
What is biodiversity?
Biodiversity is made up of two words: ‘biological’ and ‘diversity’. In broad terms, it refers to the ecology and varied species that live on Earth or in a certain area. This includes trees, shrubs, insects, animals, fungi and more.
Australia and New Zealand are home to many varied ecosystems with different biodiversity values that make them unique. This is why Greenfleet takes steps to ensure the tree and plant species we restore are locally native to each area we work in, helping to recreate the forest ecosystems that existed prior to land clearing.
The importance of Australia’s biodiversity
Australia is one of 17 countries classified as ‘mega-diverse’ meaning we contribute significantly to the World’s overall biodiversity. Our geographical isolation also means we provide habitat for many species that couldn’t exist anywhere else in the world. Because of this, improving and conserving biodiversity is a vital part of preserving Australia’s unique environment.
A resilient and biodiverse ecosystem can remain functional when impacted by disturbances, which is critical with the enduring climate crisis. It is even more important in Australia, where regions are increasingly susceptible to extreme weather events such as bushfires and floods.
There are at least 100 ecological communities in Australia that are considered Endangered, Threatened, or Critically Endangered under the Federal Environmental and Biodiversity Protection Act (EBPC) 1999. Through Greenfleet’s work these communities are being bolstered and protected allowing the ecosystems to thrive.
What is threatening biodiversity?
In Australia and New Zealand, biodiversity is threatened by climate change, deforestation, habitat destruction, invasive species, changes to water flow and aquatic environments, and unsustainable use of natural resources.
Thousands of animal species, plant species and ecological communities (such as forests, woodlands, and wetlands) are currently facing extinction. Many of these species are endemic to Australia or New Zealand, which means they are found nowhere else in the world.
What is Greenfleet doing to help restore and protect biodiversity?
Greenfleet has been delivering climate action by restoring native, biodiverse forests for more than 25 years. Since 1997, we have planted over 10.3 million native trees across 550 forests in Australia and New Zealand.
Greenfleet forests grow to remove carbon emissions on behalf of our supporters, but more importantly they also help conserve the unique biodiversity of the regions in which we work. We legally protect our forests for up to 100 years to ensure that they have a sustained and long-term impact on the climate and environment.
Greenfleet aims to restore forests that would have existed prior to land clearing. At each of our revegetation projects, we select up to 50 locally native plant species. By planting a wide variety of locally native species the additional flora can regenerate, and the local wildlife can return to use the trees as sources of food and habitat.
Where are Greenfleet’s forest growing?
Greenfleet has revegetation projects established across Australia and in New Zealand. Most of our forests are growing in Australia’s eastern states; Queensland, New South Wales, and Victoria, and we continue to extend our impact through our upcoming projects.
With over 10,300 hectares now revegetated, we look forward to growing this impact and protecting our climate by restoring more forests.
This forest is called Wurneet Laang Laang and is growing in Victoria’s South Gippsland. These images are taken about five years apart and show how Greenfleet’s revegetation work can transform landscapes.
How can you get involved?
You can play a direct part in restoring biodiverse forests like Wurneet Laang Laang. Greenfleet is fully funded by our supporters that offset their carbon emissions and donate to restore wildlife habitat.
You can support Greenfleet to reduce your own carbon footprint and directly support the restoration of biodiverse forests in Australia and New Zealand. Find out more here.